Name the last-minute applicants for RHI

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On Thursday night, for the first time in my life I watched Nolan.

Forgive me but I thought I was watching a re-run of the Martin Bashir/Princess Diana interview.

Teary-eyed, head-tilting silences. Soft reflective sympathy-inducing comments.

Little old me – Jonathan Bell – trying my best in the face of a dominant matriarch and against the might of establishment systems. Let them sacrifice me, I simply want to be a king of hearts – the people’s politician.

Then looked at from the other side – that of Arlene Foster:

One of our own family stepping outside party lines. One of our own turning the populace against us - truly the launch of an annus horribilis.

This is all well-trodden ground, good TV drama but a sideshow really. Get to the point.

As ministers, special advisors and senior civil servants prepare to close a lucrative loophole, coincidentally there appears to be an amazing spike in applications.

Rather than a public inquiry into who knew what and when, we need Wikileaks or Putin to publish the names of those last-minute applicants – those vultures who frenzied for two months on the corpse of the scheme gorging themselves on public money.

Name them. Expose their possible connections to the corrupted systems or personnel of government.

Don’t tell me there are legal contracts with private parties that cannot be easily revoked. I began life in public service partly because of a three-stranded pension contract. An agreed level of contribution, length of service and promised return. I now have to pay in more, work longer and get back less.

Pull the plug on RHI completely, by all means refund any additional outlays incurred but global warming can go on the back burner. Double the winter fuel allowance instead.

A final word of warning to Jonathan Bell. If a special advisor offers you a lift home avoid the Westlink underpass.

David McCabe, Dromore